You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Cruiser Olympia’ category.

Here along the edge of the Delaware,  inverted reflections of  Olympia and Moshulu  get transformed in this basin.  Suggestions of  past and future lurk  there too.

A broken edge, where anglers probe,  where finny things feed, and treasures may

await discovery . . .  along with other surprises, be they finny,  spiny, toothy, and slimy.

Trailing edge of continent or leading edge of ocean, or both, extend without clear definition, like the

undefinable edge of the moment, where commingling happens and life renews or metamorphoses.

What’s visible today wasn’t yesterday or won’t be tomorrow;  when new vistas appear, they surprise us with

unexpected edges of  propinquity.

Edge of darkness, chaos, or creation . . .

and then not, if

you brave the edge of dawn, of wonder, and find the way to your conveyance.  Some edges suffice for one environment, whereas

another more buffered suit another.

This single exposure . . . .  of bowsprite’s  not-for-navigation chart above my desk drew me into the edge of unreality thanks to the apparition of a curvedness of mermaids speaking to a diver.

Edge of another year . . . season.

A thought from Anne Morrow Lindberg about some of the edges above:  “The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.”

A cold day’s sizzling thought from Molly M:  “I respect boundaries,” she said, “vigilantly. And I love to play right up to the edge of them, see how close I can get.” She smiled, slyly, like one who could never drown.  Edges. Places where one thing stops being itself and becomes something else. Places where one thing washes over another and changes it. Edges, where you can fall over, tumble in, be washed away.  Hard edges that cut. Soft edges that overlap and enfold. Permeable boundaries that let me flow into you and let you flow into me. Impenetrable borders that keep us apart.”

Unrelated:  If you haven’t been keeping up with Issuma, click here for some recent snowy fotos.

Thanks for some of your comments.

Sorry for the blurry pic, but these are the words of President McKinley on a plaque inside Olympia.  I include them here because they seem appropriately addressed to the vessel itself now.  The entire quote is here.  Santiago Playa was the location of the largest naval actions of the Spanish-American War.  (Click here,  scroll down to the “Cuba”  section and then farther to the “naval operations” paragraphs for info on Santiago.

This is the most outrageous thing I have ever said on this blog:  but I’m only repeating someone’s suggestion that, if the decision is made to “reef” Olympia, she might have a “riding crew” made up of those “museum custodians” who put their own interest$ before the seriousness of their charge to preserve this vessel.    Now I’ll add a “Yaarrr … ”  for some color.

Here’s a quote from the ISM site:  “ISM will cease public tours of the Olympia on November 22, 2010.” Scroll all the way down for some then-now fotos.

I know this is NOT news, but in light of the ticking clock, you might want to reread this 2007 post from Peter Mello’s SeaFever.  Here’s a followup from a year and a half ago.  Here’s a recent op-ed piece pleading for “rescue” of the vessel from John F. Lehman, former Secretary of the Navy.

And yes, this post exists only to vent, and encourage venting.  Please feel encouraged.

Call this … “what we might lose soon.”  I wrote about it here a few months back.

This Proceedings article lays out some of the recent history of deterioration.

Here’s a recent article from the Christian Science Monitor.    On its falling into this state, Naval naval historian Lawrence Burr, author of US Cruisers 1883-1904,  says, “It’s an absolute national disgrace. It’s an appalling situation.  She is a national symbol, and she marks critical points in time both in America’s development as a country and the Navy’s emergence as a global power.”

Says Harry Burkhardt, leading efforts to save Olympia, “I think what’s happening is a total disgrace.  The Liberty Bell has a crack in it, but we don’t melt it down. The Statue of Liberty turned green with corrosion, but we don’t throw it away.  The Olympia was a symbol of America’s might and freedom.  Now she’s a symbol of negligence.”

Click here for dozens of fotos of Olympia taken a few years back.

Click here and go to page 17 to see a foto of Olympia‘s hull on 5 November 1892, day of launch.

The large gun juxtaposed with the many-paned “picture window” was operated from the fleet commander’s suite.

Right now the vessel’s fate  hangs … or teeters in the balance.  These might be the last days to visit, to walk her decks and companionways, to photograph her in various light, to sketch her iconic lines.

Here’s a “Friends of the Cruiser Olympia” site.

For some great interior shots, see MarkerHunter’s site.

This can’t really disappear, can it?

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

I don’t mean to say there are or should be doomed.  I don’t mean that at all.  It’s just uncanny that along a less than 10-mile strip,  at least four such huge icons lie as if in an intensive care unit, some in a coma and others tending toward comatose.  Similarly,  river bank greenery half obscures some of the slipways where state-of-the-art ships splashed out of  such legendary yards as Delaware River Iron Shipbuilding, Merchant Shipbuilding, Sun Shipbuilding, American International ShipbuildingNew York Shipbuilding (and who knows which others I left out.)

The SS United States hangs in the balance.  If you’re in Philly July 1, watch the stacks illuminate.  Click here for a tour into the ship’s bowels.

This glimmer of hope JUST in from today’s Wall Street Journal.

I could see three props on deck.

Click here for a vintage cutaway.  Click here for statistics of all sorts including how fast she could travel in reverse!

Answer:  25 kts in reverse:  that’s faster than Titanic forward.   It’s strange to think this vessel’s service life was a mere 17 years, which ended 41 years ago.

Take a tour here.

A few miles south of SS United States is CV-67, John F. Kennedy, whose 37-year career spanned conflicts from Vietnam to Iraq.

Click here for a foto archive . . . and more.

Might the carrier go to Rhode Island?

And CV-59, a 39-year veteran just back from Rhode Island, might she be reefed?

And then, there’s C-6 Olympia, not hauled since World War 2, located right across the river from BB-62.

Here’s Olympia‘s Facebook page.  Whitherward?

Tour the vessel–including views of the five-inch guns–here.

Here’s a 1997 maintenance report, and

slightly different analysis from 2000.

Doomed?  Hope?  Who has deep pockets these days?  Please forward this post to lots of friends.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated:  Follow the rowers that left the sixth boro (aka New York harbor) for the UK  June 17.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

Click to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

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